Sept. 27 (UPI) — Comcast will acquire all of 21st Century Fox’s shares in British broadcaster Sky, clearing the way for the U.S. cable provider to gain a greater foothold in Europe.
Comcast will pay $15 billion for 39 percent of Sky. The announcement came just days after Comcast won control of Sky in a rare auction last weekend.
“In light of the premium Comcast has agreed to pay for Sky, we and Disney have decided to sell [our] existing 39 percent holding in Sky to Comcast,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement. “We are proud of the role our company has played in building Sky.”
The takeover bid for Sky lasted for months before it was finally resolved last Saturday.
“Nearly 30 years ago, Rupert Murdoch took a risk to launch Sky and in the process changed the way we watch television forever,” Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said.
Disney was initially going to purchase Fox’s assets o use as leverage to get Comcast to sell its stake in Hulu. Instead, it drove up the bid for Sky and cashed in shares at a premium rate.
By selling its shares and divesting the regional Fox Sports Networks, Disney reduces its debt so it can continue to “invest in content creation for direct-to-consumer platforms,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said Wednesday.